UC Irvine chancellor to leave post to become Ohio State University president

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UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake will step down from his position to become president of the Ohio State University, UC President Janet Napolitano announced Thursday.

Drake, who was appointed the fifth chancellor of UCI in 2005, will leave his post effective June 30, 2014, after more than 30 years with the University of California, according to a statement from Napolitano.

Napolitano said Drake’s leadership as chancellor has “positioned UC Irvine for a bright future as a world-class research university,” citing new programs in public health, nursing and pharmaceutical sciences launched under the chancellor, according to the press release.

Before becoming chancellor, Drake spent more than 20 years as a faculty member of the UC San Francisco School of Medicine, where he eventually became the Steven P. Shearing Professor of Ophthalmology and senior associate dean. Later, he served as vice president for health affairs for the UC system, where he oversaw academic program policies at various health sciences schools across seven UC campuses.

As a scientist and physician, Drake has studied glaucoma, maintained an active referral practice, written numerous scholarly articles and chapters and published five textbooks.

Drake completed his undergraduate education at Stanford University and earned his medical degree from UCSF.

Until a new chancellor is found, UCI Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Howard Gillman will serve as interim chancellor. Napolitano said she intends to rally a search committee in the coming weeks.

Megan Messerly is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @meganmesserly.